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Emet m'Tsiyon

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Obama & FDR -- Socialists, the Left, & Hatred of Jews,

UPDATED & REVISED 11-28-2012

Antisemitism is the socialism of fools, August Bebel

Anti-Zionism is the anti-imperialism of fools, Eliyahu m'Tsiyon

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels stated a principle in their Communist Manifesto in 1848 that sounded universal: Workers of the World Unite . . . !! As if all workers were brothers and should be treated equally and live at peace with each other. But when Abraham Cahan, representing Jewish workers in NewYork, asked the Socialist International at its 1891 Brussels Congress to condemn anti-Semitism, he found great reluctance. The International found it hard to decide to reject this racial hatred. In the end, it condemned both antisemitism and philosemitism. So it was saying that one should not be too pro-Jewish either. A grudging condemnation of anti-Jewish racism, prejudice and bigotry.

In fact, throughout the 19th century, both Marxist and non-Marxist socialists –what Marx & Engels called “Utopian socialists”—often showed hostility toward Jews. Jewish capitalists were blamed for the ills and injustices of all capitalists. The first frankly antisemitic movements  in Germany & France came out of the socialist milieu. The fact that there were millions of Jewish workers and Jewish poor in the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, the US, Britain, France and so on did not cancel the socialists’ prejudices about Jews.

After the 1891 Brussels Declaration, did the Left or socialists become pro-Jewish or did it at least lead them to defend the human and civil rights of Jews –even the Jews’ right to life?  The Communist Soviet Union soon became anti-Jewish and pushed Jewish Communists out of the leadership and promoted hatred and suspicion of Jews among the masses –as Trotsky acknowledged-- whether to distract from the system’s failures or out of simple Judeophobia within the leadership. In 1939, the Communist USSR –the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics— allied with Germany to start the Second World War, which also encompassed the Holocaust. Germany was ruled by the  Nazis, officially the National Socialist German Workers Party [NSDAP – Nazional Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei]. Hence both Communists and Nazis were threatening the lives of Jews in occupied countries. Or if you like, the Communists were facilitating the German Nazi threat to the Jews.

During the whole Nazi period [1933 on], US president, Franklin D Roosevelt, considered a Liberal and supported at the time by American Communists and socialists, allowed the State Department to make it very difficult for Jews to find refuge, including German Jews, although Germany had a very large immigration quota for the US which was not filled in the 1930s. Likewise, FDR’s British allies refused to take any concrete action during the war to stop the Nazi German mass murder machine. Few “leftists” protested against FDR and the Allies’ cynical and callous policy. Not to save Jews from murder and Not to stop or seriously damage the murder machine. Nor did leading American Jewish Leftists and Liberals audibly protest. That failure includes Jewish Leftists, Liberals, and labor union leaders, such as Sidney Hillman and David Dubinsky, who were very influential in the Democratic Party in those years. They did not demand that FDR stop the mass murder of Jews. However, the mass murder machine could have been severely damaged or hampered by bombing the gas chambers and the railroad tracks that led to the death camps. By dropping military supplies, food and medicine to the Jewish partisans especially active in Belarus and Poland [although the USSR gave them some help]. Yet FDR, the hero of Liberals and Leftists, did nothing.
Getting back to the point where Stalin joined Hitler, think of the 6 million Jews and the 50 million non-Jews estimated killed in WW2. Stalin made it possible just as Chamberlain made it possible [by the 1938 Munich Pact]. Indeed, after both Nazi Germany and the Communist USSR had invaded Poland [September 1939], they
issued a joint declaration of a joint “struggle for peace” [October 1939]. In November 1939, the Communist gazette, Izvestya, wrote that Nazi ideology was “a matter of taste.” Everybody knows that the Nazis hated Jews. So Izvestya was saying the hating Jews was just “a matter of taste.” In fact, neither the Communist USSR nor the liberal democratic USA –supposed antagonists of the Nazis for most WW2—acted to stop the mass murder machine. Now someone might ask, What about the purer idealistic Communists, the Trotskyists? What about the pacifists?

The Trotskyists broke up into factions after the murder of Trotsky [by Stalin] in 1940. The large faction led by Ernest Germain (Mandel) in Belgium took what it considered a pure, principled, working-class and anti-imperialist position. It published an underground paper in German that was distributed to the German troops. It was called Arbeiter und Soldat [Worker & Soldier]. I know of no actions by Trotskyists of any faction to save Jews, even Jewish workers. Neither the Germain faction nor any other conducted any sort of armed resistance against the Nazis to my knowledge. Actually, some Trotskyists in France joined the collaborationist Vichy regime.[see E. Germain, in A. Leon, The Jewish Question: A Marxist Interpretation (Mexico DF: Ediciones Pioneras 1950)]

Today, the remnants of the Trotskyist movement –particularly the tendency led by “Michel Pablo” [Michael Raptis]— are all in favor of a different sort of Resistance, a resistance that targets civilians by choice. But these are Jewish civilians in Israel. Now as then, Trotskyists facilitate the murder of Jews. Can we call them enemies of the Jews, including of Jewish workers? The excuse used by Ernest Germain was that they favored a working class struggle, seeing the Wehrmacht’s hobnailed hordes as fellow workers. Today, some 15 to 20 million foreign workers toil in the Arab sheikdoms of the Persian Gulf under near-slavery conditions. The Trots do little for these working class brethren because they hate Jews more than they love workers. And it simply does not do to criticize Arabs even if they are billionaire oil sheiks. We ought to add that by militating for Arab nationalism, as in the Land of Israel, the Trotskyists are aligned with the dominant powers in the European Union, especially Britain --the British Empire-- which maintains its hatred for Jews and Israel to this day, up to the latest anti-Israel positions of the Cameron govt and  the hypocritical driveling of foreign minister Hague over the recent Israel-Hamas war [November 2012].

Obama, seen as a Leftist like FDR, conducts a racist, pro-apartheid policy against Jews in Israel. He doesn’t want Jews to live in Judea-Samaria, the heart of the ancient Jewish homeland, called Judea by Rome. Obama’s State Department recently appointed Salam Al-Marayati, president of the anti-Jewish Muslim Public Affairs Council , to be an official US representative to a conference on human rights,  in Poland, sponsored by the the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. As a sign of his unique expertise, Marayati accused Israel of being behind the 9/11 atrocity. Obama hardly tries to hide his Judeophobia.


The Socialist Response to Antisemitism in Imperial Germany, By Lars Fischer

Ethel Rosenberg, Beyond the Myths, Ilene Philipson

Richard Mogon, "Barta," Cahiers de Leon Trotsky, no. 49, janvier 1993

Joseph Nedava, Trotsky and the Jews (The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, 5732/1972)

The real name of Michel Pablo was Michael Raptis (or Reptis), not Constantine Castoriadis as I had previously believed. Castoriadis was also a Trotskyist, a founder of the Socialisme ou Barbarie faction.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Obama Partially Belies Michelle, Gainsaying Her Poor-mouthing on His Behalf

The Obama campaign this year is based on emotions, feelings, and prejudices, like Obama's campaign for the presidency in 2008. His wife Michelle gave a tearjerker of a speech --which contained significant lies --in order to play on the emotions of the crowd. Her main purpose in the  speech --given before the Democratic National Convention-- was to arouse sympathy for Obama by poor-mouthing, claiming that he grew up poor, penniless, struggling to make ends meet, and the like. She falsely described Obama's childhood as financially impoverished. Now a child whose parents are divorced is likely to have some psychological problems, which may be the case for Obama as well. However, poverty in money terms was not one of his problems while growing up. Yet Michelle poor-mouthed before the Convention and before millions of TV viewers across America. She said, among other things:
Barack was raised . . . by grandparents who stepped in when she [Obama's mother] needed help. Barack's grandmother started out as a secretary at a community bank. She moved quickly up the ranks, but like so many women, she hit a glass ceiling. And for years, men no more qualified than she was, men she actually trained, were promoted up the ladder ahead of her, earning more and more money while Barack's family continue to scrape by . . .[see here]
Michelle said that Obama's grandmother "moved . . . up the ranks." Yet she didn't say that she became a bank vice president at a major bank. But Obama must have forgotten that Michelle was poor-mouthing his upbringing, his  childhood. He said in his debate with Romney that his grandmother was a bank vice-president, hardly the sort of person to suspect of being economically deprived:
You know, my grandmother -- some of you know -- helped to raise me. . . . She worked her way up, only had a high school education, started as a secretary, ended up being the vice president of a local bank.[the debate transcript, CNN]
  Hence, Obama was inadvertently spoiling the campaign's and Michelle's narrative of an impoverished childhood and upbringing by stating truthfully that his grandmother was a bank vice-president. Actually, he was not entirely frank. His grandmother was the vice president of a rather small "local bank" when she lived in the Seattle area. However, in Hawaii she became vice president of the Bank of Hawaii, a major bank in that state with much international business. The Bank of Hawaii is not a mere "local bank." So, although he truthfully stated that his grandmother was a bank vice president, he tried to minimize this status by saying it was at "a local bank."

Bear in mind that the purpose of poor-mouthing Obama's childhood was to arouse sympathy and identification. His campaign needs to do that because his record of accomplishment is very thin, except for his negative accomplishments which have been dangerously extensive and manifold. The economy, foreign affairs, American domestic security. He has little to boast about. There is the killing of Osama bin Laden of course. But killing Bin Laden did not and will not of itself eliminate the problem of al-Qa`ida, let alone Islamic jihad terrorism.

Negatively, his accomplishments include an Iran that is moving ever closer to getting a nuke weapon, The Bomb. They include an Egypt now under Muslim Brotherhood rule, making threatening hints of war on Israel. The Islamist leader of Turkey, Erdogan, is reported to be Obama's best friend abroad, despite Erdogan's provocations against Israel [the Mavi Marmara and "Free Gaza" flotilla], his blockade of Armenia, and his suppression of democratic freedoms at home in Turkey.

Hence, the emotional appeals, such as made by Michelle, are necessary. But sometimes a guy forgets the script and tells the truth, even if only partially.